June 11, 2009
Lineman catches Tulane's attention
Luke Charpentier assumed the members of Tulane's football coaching staff he spotted in the crowd at one of his John Curtis Christian School basketball games might have been talking about him.
Only a few weeks later did he learn the extent of the conversation.
The Green Wave's coaches attended the basketball game with the primary intention of watching Charpentier's teammate, Mike Henry, a defensive end who later signed with Tulane. Charpentier apparently caught their attention that night, too.
The 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive lineman from River Ridge, La., rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, soon received his first scholarship offer from the Green Wave.
"They saw me running up and down the court, and I could see them talking to each other," Charpentier said of the Tulane coaches.
"I figured they were talking about me, and then, like, a few weeks later, I came to school and my coach told me that, just by watching me play basketball, I was a good enough athlete to play. I was excited when I found out."
Charpentier said he likes what Tulane has to offer.
"Tulane is a really good school, and, for the small school that they are, they get a lot of NFL exposure, a lot of guys," Charpentier said.
"They produce really good athletes. It would be a good school to go to. I got to go visit it, and I went and watched part of their practices. I got to meet coach (Bob) Toledo, and I was really impressed. Being from Louisiana, I would be right at home."
Other schools are starting to notice Charpentier, though. He since has picked up an offer from Arkansas and has heard from at least five other Southeastern Conference schools, including LSU, Alabama and Tennessee. His most recent offer came from Southern Miss last month.
"I really like that Arkansas offer," said Charpentier, a longtime LSU fan who participated in a camp at Alabama over the weekend.
"I've always wanted to play in the SEC, and that's my first SEC offer. That's the one I'm holding highest right now. But if I could pick up an offer from LSU or something like that, that would just make it even better."
Charpentier, who plays right tackle at John Curtis, said most of the schools recruiting him likely would move him inside to guard or center. He said the Green Wave sees him as a guard.
"I guess I don't have arms as long as some (tackles). I just like to hit somebody right in front of me every time, not chase a defensive end," Charpentier said with a laugh.
Luke Curtis, an offensive assistant at John Curtis, said Charpentier has developed into "one of the best run blockers in the country" in John Curtis' run-heavy offense and likely will thrive at any position in college.
"He's a real good run blocker and good with a guy over him, which will match him up really well in college," Curtis said. "He has real quick feet and is a good athlete. He has a lot of potential, and he's played against top competition all over the state and has always more than held his own."
Charpentier is in no hurry to decide on a college. He said he plans to take all five of his official visits and hopes to go to a few more camps this summer.
He couldn't say for certain that one of his visits would be to Tulane.
"I want to play my whole senior year undecided but to have, like, a list of top schools where I'd want to go," he said. "And then, once my senior year is over with, I might pick up some more offers. I'm going to make my decision not too long after that, but I'm not going to commit early."
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